RICE COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Rice County fire crews are continuing to monitor a building fire at the Jacam Chemical facility between Sterling and Lyons. The fire started around 9 a.m. at plant 16 just off of K-14 and Avenue Q.
All employees inside made it out safely. Officials also evacuated the nearby Kansas Ethanol plant.
According to Rice County officials, four departments, Sterling, Lyons, Hutchinson and Sedgwick hazmat, are still on the scene monitoring the fire. Officials are also in contact with the National Weather Service about wind direction and speed.
“The building has burned completely up. The fire has been allowed to continue and burn for safety and issues,” said Greg Klein, Emergency Director for Rice County. “We will be monitoring this for the next 24 hours.”
Hazmat teams from Hutchinson and Sedgwick County continue to monitor the air quality. Officials said that according to documents from the company, the chemicals inside aren’t toxic.
“The chemicals are not listed as toxic at this point in time. It is no danger to the public,” added Klein. “We will release if there is danger to the public”
Ave Q is closed from K-14 to 18th. Right now, officials aren’t for sure how the fire started. Officials said there will be a thorough investigation.
“We’re going to work really closely with the fire department and the authorities, do a thorough investigation, figure out exactly what happened, and then we’ll take any appropriate, corrective action that’s needed,” said Laura Snyder, a spokeswoman for Jacam.